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Album Review: 'Blue Bright Ow Sleep' flows through psychedelic journey

The sound of “Blue Bright Ow Sleep” is an interesting fusion of ‘70s psychedelic rock and modern-day indie rock. Listeners may feel as if they've been given hallucinogens after listening to the progressive folk rock album, in a good way.

The opening track, “Minderbender,” leaves an excellent impression on listeners with frontwoman Liz Hanley’s resonant vocals complemented by heavy riffs and a groovy beat. There couldn’t be a more perfect opening for the record.

Listeners are introduced to the male vocalist and bassist Tom Hanley in the second song, “Invite to Eternity,” but his voice doesn’t get to shine until “Ride off into the Sunset and Disappear.” His vocal style is reminiscent of that of Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons, which folk rock fans are sure to adore.

Every song is completely different from the last and yet each flows flawlessly into the next. While the more dissonant noise tracks are less appealing than the experimental folk songs, one can definitely appreciate the effort put into each individual track to make the album flow smoothly.

“Patch of Blue” is an excellent example of the fluent transitions heard on this album. Before becoming familiar with the track list, listeners will likely find themselves checking the screen of their music players just to know if the song has actually changed from the previous track, “Before I Die.”

“Cola in Mongolia” is one of the dissonant tracks that should be skipped, but the next song, “Leyla’s Find,” is a fantastic redeemer following it. The lyrics and the beat are nice, but what makes this song so fabulously catchy is the prominence of Tom Hanley’s bass skills. The riff is simple, but it also grabs listeners’ attention and hooks them.

“Shingle” is another track that adds to the “trippy” aspect of the album. The song addresses the impermanence of everything in the world and concludes, “In the end all you see is the spire of the church.” This thought-provoking song is highlighted by the fast-paced violin solos complemented by the moderately slow guitar chords.

“Organism” is perhaps the record’s only flaw. Liz Hanley’s introductory narrative piques your interest and draws you into a trance, only to shatter it when she starts singing. Her vocals are excellent on the rest of the album, but the notes for this song were just not made for her range and tone. Flat keys are not your cup of tea, Hanley. This track can expect to be skipped often.

“Hazyland” ends the album on an upbeat note with a fast-paced beat and interesting harmonies between the two vocalists. After such an epic introduction, though, the simple conclusion is a little disappointing.

The album as a whole, however, is still a great listen for anyone looking for the next folk-rock fix. The psychological journey taken on this captivating album is sure to win the hearts of psychedelic lovers everywhere.

Skylar Griego is a culture reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at or on 
Twitter @DailyLobo.

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